2016 Programme published

The UK race programme and RYA courses up to June are now on the site. Mile builders up to July are on and there will be more in August.

We are competing in Cowes Week followed by the new RORC 400 race and we are running the Round the Island team in a new format with a separate training weekend so those conserving leave or having to work on Fridays can take part in this classic event.

We have just one place left in the 2016 racing team at 27/11 but as one member is flying in from Oz for just the Round Ireland we will have at least one place on every other race.

Onwards and Upwards

One thing about the 3 Peaks Yacht race is the number of cups awarded. Here is the Wight Rose team with me in the middle, Shelf (Stewart Walker) on right plus Geoff West on Left who have raced on wild Spirit plus Gary Clayton centre left and Alex Pilkington centre right.First on corrected time, King of the Mountains plus a few others.

Paul away in Middle Sea Race

Paul is away racing on EHO 1 in the Rolex Middle Sea Race starting 17th October and you can follow progress via the yellow brick tracker http://www.rolexmiddlesearace.com/tracker/#pt Back on 25th October but e-mails will get answered.

One place left on the weekend for Comp Crew or DS refresher weekend 6th November (second Comp Crew 3 days just after Easter).

4th in final Cross Channel race of 2015

A great channel crossing, mainly under spinnaker, followed by a tricky finish against tide and light wind saw us finish the JOG race to Cherbourg 4th out of 12 in class. The JOG social scene was as good as ever and after a good meal out we sailed back overnight and those on my watch witnessed one of the best Moon sets I have ever seen.

Refresher and taster weekends just £125

We are offering Friday evening (dinner at 2000) to Sunday afternoon try sailing and refresh Day skipper skills weekends for £125 with the only extra being a modest Dinner out on Saturday night. If you subsequently sign up for one of our normal RYA courses, cruises or races you also get £50 off.

Friday 6th November–2 places left.

Cherbourg encore

The last Royal Ocean Racing Club race of the UK season to Cherbourg saw light wind conditions that didn’t suit us and whilst we beat several faster boats we didn’t improve on our overall RORC standing so finish the UK season 10th out of 115 in Class 4 of RORC.

We have 3 places for the JOG Cherbourg race starting on Friday evening 25th September.

Fastnet Report

The forecast was bad, not light wind; no wind. The start was difficult and a car carrier arrived at the wrong time so we had to motor back away from the start line and then return resulting in us drifting across the line 10 minutes or more after the gun. A slow sail down the Solent on a building tide and then out through the Needles channel and a view of the mis-named American Yacht ‘Lucky’ fast aground on the shingles bank on a falling tide.

It was clear that we wouldn’t get round Portland Bill on the tide and as the afternoon’s sea breeze died we sailed slowly south and west in mid channel on a flat starlit sea. Progress was painfully slow through the first night and into Monday. The day passed slowly as we battled to keep going the right way. Then a bit of breeze gave us a spinnaker run and a chance to see the new Reacher in action. The new kite worked but I had decided to carry the old AP one as well which meant leaving the heavy weather spinnaker behind as our handicap certificate only allows 4 to be carried on board.

Now the first bit of entertainment, a missed clip on a halyard and a pull sent the spinnaker halyard to the top of the mast. This meant someone had to go up and a ‘surge of volunteers’ meant it was me. We used the topping lift which is 8mm Dyneema and our reserve main halyard. Perfectly strong enough, but it meant going up aft of the spreaders, when the halyard to be retrieved was forward of them.

An unexpected wave sent me between the mast and the spreaders so, having unwrapped the halyard from the top of the forestay I came down the forestay behind the spinnaker. This led to the need to have to pass a line through the triangle between the second spreader and the mast. Rigger suggested throwing a line and this became an interesting diversion. With the end of the wooden spoon we made a hole through an apple then threaded it on a line and taped it up. We now had an aerodynamic weighted line that wouldn’t damage the deck. After quite a few attempts it worked but during the recovery of the topping lift the rope tied to the apple line was not heavy enough to fall down over the spreader, so a bag with a Melon in was attached, hoisted and deftly swung through the triangle then lowered to the deck, unfortunately the line attached to it got jammed so I had to go up again on the halyard I had recovered whilst we plodded on under spinnaker in light winds.

Some team members had booked flights on Saturday to go to the Edinburgh Fringe and they were getting worried about missing them. I re-assured them they would be on the fringe as they would be in Plymouth.

We plodded on past Plymouth and the wind forecast suggested there would be a bit more wind than had previously been predicted, we saw a whale, the dolphins arrived, we trimmed the sails and headed laboriously on towards the Scillies.

We were north of the Scillies when the wind picked up and our speed increased, we calculated the best course to keep a bit of west in hand for when the wind veered, which was due as we reached the traffic separation scheme near the Fastnet rock. 305 degrees was the desired course but I called for 300 and checked with the . . . → Read More: Fastnet Report


The Fastnet starts on Sunday 16th at 1220 and you can follow our progress via the satellite tracker http://www.rolexfastnetrace.com/ With 390 entrants it is the largest Offshore race in the World. The current forecast is for light winds, which doesn’t suit us, but the team is ready and with a bit more breeze we will again attempt to finish in the top half.


The 7 day RYA course saw all pass and have a good time. The Weymouth race saw us take second place. The run back from Weymouth on Sunday gave the team the opportunity to sail in a gale. The wind was up to 41 knots and coming from the south so we took advantage of the barrier formed by the Shingles and came in to the Solent via North head.